Killer Thriller

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I started reading Lee Goldberg because I loved,, loved loved the Mr. Monk TV series. Then another of his characters, Charlie Willis, enchanted me for a couple of books, and I found Goldberg's standalone novel, The Walk, memorable for its true heart, its insider peak at the movie biz, and the variation on a theme running through all the author's work (ordinary guy faces extraordinary circumstances with humor and common sense).

Which means that, for me, reading the two Ian Ludlow novels has been like attending a family reunion of a fond, wacky clan. There was the constant, goofy dialogue, the practical improvisations in the face of death (in two scenes Ian's assistant Margo fends 0ff attackers with a giant dildo and with fish from an outdoor Chinese market -- whatever is at hand.)

The premise of the Ian Ludlow series is that the unprepossessing novelist and screenwriter has the uncanny knack for writing fiction that reflects -- and in some cases predicts -- clandestine geopolitical reality.

Don't be put off by the plausibility of the premise -- the books are pure fun. Or are they?

That said, I didn't enjoy this story quite as much as I have Goldberg's other books. But I am definitely along for the ride for Ian and Margo's next outing!

Thanks to NetGalley for an advance reader's copy.
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Thank you Netgalley, the publisher and Lee Goldberg.
This is my first instalment of the Ludlow thrillers and it surely will not be my last. 
Fast paced, action packed ride with the funny duo of f Ludlow and French who are fighting crime in Hong Kong. 
Could not put this book down. Loved it. 
Highly recommend
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I love the Ludlow thrillers. I highly recommend reading the first one before delving into this one, to understand the characters, general themes in the series, and the references to the first book.

This one felt especially timely given the political climate of 2019. There are a ton of "coincidences" in this book, but they work within the confines of this universe. It's a pretty fun play on how fiction can imitate life and vice versa. If you're looking for a good action-packed thriller, give this one a shot. 

Free version given from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Killer Thriller is another action packed, suspenseful ride by Lee Goldberg. Ian Ludlow and Margo French are together again fighting crime, not what Ian thought he was going to be doing in Hong Kong. He traveled there to watch the filling of a Clint Straker movie, based on his first book, pose for some publicity photos, and to get inspiration and details for his current Clint Straker book, with Margo as his research assistant. When they again realize that the plot of his next book is actually happening in Hong Kong, both their lives are in danger and they have to fight to survive.

I loved this book and could not put it down! I think this is one of those times that the sequel might be better than the original book. Ian and Margo get into and out of more thrilling and terrifying situations, which keeps the reader turning pages into the wee hours of the night. I'm looking forward to another book in this series. If you are a Stephanie Plum fan, you will enjoy the mishaps and solutions of Ian Ludlow.
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This book is deliciously funny. Margo and Ian once again find themselves in the middle of a spy plot. This time Margo is actually working for the Agency and has the means to defend herself. She fights off bad guys with a dildo and fish which astonishes Ian. He is constantly wishing to be cool, suave and physically fit like the lead character in his books. All he has going for him is his great ability with words and making plots work. They say and the funniest things that will make you laugh out loud throughout the story. Excellent plot.
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Thriller author Ian Ludlow is in Hong Kong with his assistant, Margo French, to provide feedback on a movie script and do research for his next novel. But the Chinese think they are spies and things quickly spiral out of control. 

This is the second novel in the series and they are refreshingly different from other thrillers. Killer Thriller is fast and fun read that I would recommend! 

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for providing an ARC in return for an honest review.
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This book is fast-paced action and would likely be an exciting movie.  The unlikely duo of Ian Ludlow, author, and his assistant Margo, are on another wild adventure.
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Killer Thriller is a fantastic follow-up to True Fiction. It is high energy, clever and tons of fun. I really enjoyed this fast paced, witty romp taken straight from today’s headlines and anxiously await Ian and Margo’s next adventure.
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This was a quick, fun and easy read. This is the second book in the Ian Ludlow series.  I had read the first, but it’s not necessary to read it before this one.  The main character, Ian Ludlow, is an author of spy novels, he and his ‘assistant’, Margo French are in Hong Kong to provide feedback on a script that is based on one of his novels.  Ian is also there to perform research on his upcoming novel and tours various locations around Hong Kong to get a ‘feel’ to realistically incorporate the location into the novel.  Unbeknownst to him, the Chinese are watching his every move and believe him to be a spy.  Soon Ian and Margo are on the run, using their wits to keep one step ahead of the Chinese. I am looking forward to the next in the series.
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Completely implausible and sometimes over the top but you know what- it was a very fun read.  I missed the first one so this was a standalone; Goldberg gave me enough info to know what was going on.   Ian and Margo have found themselves in a world of trouble with the Chinese, who think he's some sort of super duper spy, which he's not (obviously!). How they get out of this mess, well, it's a hoot.  There are any number of world conspiracy/bad stuff thrillers out there right now but this is different.  Thanks to net galley for the ARC.
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I latched onto this because I generally like Lee Goldberg's writing but this one seemed too far fetched for me to get into. I am kind of off spy thrillers these days.
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This was my first Lee Goldberg read, however it won't be my last.

Ludlow. Ian Ludlow. Writes about spies, and now he has been drawn into a real life CIA operation.

What a fun and fantasic ride Killer Thriller was. It does kind of carry on from the first book by the looks of it, however that did not affect my reading of Killer Thriller, as we are given enough background information to get us up to speed.

I love his "partner" Margo. OMG she had me in tears of laughter at times. She was completely unexpected.

I have to say, Ian made the professionals look like idiots at times - and I liked it haha. Sucked in you smug bastards!

You never knew where the next pages of this story was going to take you, and even though you kind of knew how the story was going to end, I couldn't wait to turn each page.

I now need to go back and read the first book, and can't wait to see where this series goes next.
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Killer Thriller is the second book in the Ian Ludlow Thrillers series and this is a series that only keeps getting better. This book picks up after some time has passed from the ending of True Fiction. Ian has penned another best seller and was currently out on tour with it. Not only was his latest book doing well but a Chinese film studio wanted to turn one of his books into a movie! Ian didn’t really care about the movie other than the income it would generate for him but he was going to use the time when he was in Hong Kong, on the set for publicity reasons, to do some research and site scouting for his novel in progress.

Before he has a chance to go to Hong Kong, Ian has an unexpected guest show up at his door. Margo is back and she ends up tagging along with Ian to help him get to the places he wants to see for writing inspiration. Unbeknownst to Ian, what he has been imagining for his plot in progress is closer to the truth than he realizes. When the bad guys get wind of what he knows, well, it makes Ian & Margo’s trip turn into an action-packed thrill ride that even he had a hard time believing was truly taking place.

There is a lot to love about this plot with its twists, turns, fast pacing, and plenty of humor. I also think that Ian’s character was more likable this time around. Margo though, she was probably my favorite character in the book. She was full of surprises and she also kept Ian both in check and on task. Killer Thriller was a creative story and the tongue-in-cheek humor kept me entertained from start to finish. This will absolutely be a series that I continue in because I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief Ian and Margo get into next!

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
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4.5 stars, actually.

Improbable. Irreverent. Amusing. Fun characters. Those are among the words that popped into my mind as I read this well-written adventure "starring" writer Ian Ludlow and his very capable research assistant Margo French (the second in a series). Toss in a few zingers aimed at certain U.S. government leaders (a POTUS who is fond of Tweets that counter what other members of his cabinet say, for instance), and I was hooked from the git-go.

Ian is a successful writer of books featuring hulking Jack Reacher-like hero Clint Straker; in fact, a movie is in production in which an actor with Tom Cruise stature is [mis]cast in the lead role (with appropriate jabs about his inappropriateness similar to those author Lee Child has endured with the casting of Cruise as Reacher). The movie is being funded by a filthy rich Hong Kong businessman, mostly so his beautiful daughter can be the female star. Suddenly, he is kidnapped, and a top CIA official claims the Chinese did the dirty deed.

Problem is, the plots Ian dreams up for his books have a strange tendency to come true in real life; in this instance, his story involves an ongoing conspiracy by the Chinese to take over the United States. And guess what? The Chinese, who really are in the final stages of just such a takeover, get wind of his writing. Thinking Ian therefore must be some kind of spy charged with undoing their plan, they set out to thwart Ian before he can thwart them - scrutinizing every word Ian speaks to identify secret codes (which gets pretty funny). 

Ian, needless to say, is oblivious (at least at first) to the reality of his fiction - but the CIA is not. They try, without success, to recruit him as an undercover agent. Taking a different tack, they follow Ian and Margo to Hong Kong, where the Straker movie is being filmed. Their efforts to keep the pair safe are only marginally successful, resulting in a few wild chases and near misses (these, too, can be humorous; at one point, for instance, Margo, a lesbian, successfully fends off would-be killers with her dildo). 

And so it goes right up to the end. This is a series, so of course all's well that ends well, at least for Ian and Margo. The whole thing is a clever romp, and I'm already looking forward to the pair's next adventure. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for allowing me to read and review an advance copy.
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Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg
2 stars
Two dimensional
This is the second in the Ian Ludlow series. The first was True Fiction which was well received, so I expected a decent read.
Ian Ludlow is a writer, much like the author, and in the book is the screenwriter of a film being made on location in Hong Kong so much of the action takes place in the Far East. He is accompanied by his rude and acerbic sidekick, Margo French, who, surprisingly also demonstrates her talents as a martial arts expert. Unknown to Ludlow, he is being tracked 24/7 by the Chinese who think he is a CIA spy. As a result, quite a few of the people who cross his path pay the ultimate penalty yet Ludlow, of course, is spared.
I dislike giving mediocre reviews, but there were times during reading the novel that I nearly gave up in despair. Time is a precious commodity, and once I find myself wondering what else I could be doing, it instead suggests that the answer does not include reading the book in hand.
Good writing transports the reader to another world in which it is OK to suspend belief. Good writing draws in the reader and makes him care about the characters as if they are real people. Unfortunately, I didn’t care about any of the characters and was so easily distracted I found I had to force myself to pick up my Kindle to read some more.
The characters were two dimensional, and at times the dialogue was laughable – much like the action scenes of the film being made. The differences between "goodies" and "baddies" were so clear cut that there was no chance of confusing the two. The plot would have benefitted from several shades of grey and characters who were more complex.
I have been to Hong Kong many times, and the description of the island and of Kowloon was atmospheric and comprehensive. In fact, I found there was so much of it, it became tiresome in places. It was almost as if the author, having written detailed notes, felt obliged to cram in every single piece of information. Very often less is more. (As an aside, all Hong Kong taxis have a security screen protecting the driver so the passengers can't access the front seats).
I am sure I will be in the minority in disliking the book as Mr Goldberg appears to have a loyal following of fans. Reading his bio, he comes across as fun-loving and not taking himself too seriously, so I am sure he will understand that his style will not appeal to everyone and will forgive me for expressing my honest opinion.
mr zorg
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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Author Lee Goldberg has started a new series about an author who bumbles into international conspiracies. Ironically the main character, Ian Ludlow, is a pen name Goldberg used early in his career.

Killer Thriller kicks off with Ludlow getting ready to head to Hong Kong. A movie is being made about one of his books. The trip gives him the idea to set another book in China so he uses the trip also to research settings for his next story.

Little does Ludlow know his laptop has been hacked and various Chinese officials think Ludlow might be a spy. Details in his book are very close to some real events going with Chinese spies.

A cat-and-mouse game then starts as Ludlow tries to escape the Chinese and also uncover what they are up to. Yet at the same time his assistant Margo might actually be a spy. One more question he needs to answer if he wants to stay alive.

The way Author Goldberg writes Ludlow is fun. This is a guy who has researched a good amount about fights and spy trade. But his life is behind a keyboard. Making his ideas to get out of tricky situations very outside the box.

Overall the story is very action packed. Yet is paced out well. Intermixed with Ludlow’s view are chapters from the view of the Chinese spies. These chapters give context to the overall conspiracy and why they have miss targeted Ludlow as being involved.

This story also has humor. I have met Lee Goldberg a few times and know him to have a quick wit. That wit plays out in the dialogue in this story. More than once I had to chuckle at the quips characters jab at each other.

Anyone looking for some escapist reading I would suggest picking up Killer Thriller when it releases on February 12, 2019.

A free advanced review copy of this book given to my via NetGalley for this unbiased review.
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The second book in the Ian Ludlow Thriller series, Killer Thriller is a great read. Humour, sarcasm and mystery, this thriller has engaging characters and a well written storyline that made it a pure pleasure to read. I will definitely be recommending and looking to read more
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Ian Ludlow is in the sights of the CIA and international spies once more in this sequel to True Fiction. Accompanied by his sidekick, Margo (with some surprises in store for him!), he's in Hong Kong supposedly to supervise/assist in the filming of one of his novels when he finds himself involved in international intrigue once again.

These novels are pure action and fun. The line between fiction and "real" life is blurred as Ian channels his fictional hero to escape the assassins. There's nothing earth-shattering here and these novels don't complete directly with the traditional spy thrillers, but they are fun and engaging and the witty exchanges between Ian and Margo keep things light and funny yet within the realm of possibility. I loved this book!
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If your novels keep coming true, do you try and make them more fantastical or more boring?

Ian Ludlow's latest novel isn't like his previous one. He needed a thriller that had international espionage, a conspiracy that would justify his Clint Straker character getting into life-threatening situations, and preferably a plot that wouldn't come true this time. But his far-fetched plot about a Chinese operation has him and his assistant, Margo French, mistaken for spies and the only ones able to stop an assassination.

I always seem to enjoy Lee Goldberg's thrillers. Whether it be his collaboration with Janet Evanovich (which gets a reference in this book) or his standalone novels, he always manages to make them fun and humorous. Some stories of this sort can fall flat through a lack of tension or poor pacing but neither problem is present in Killer Thriller.

There are quite a few in-jokes in this novel, such as the Evanovich reference, that you may miss if you aren't familiar with Lee and his writing. I don't think this detracts from the novel, but it may have enhanced my enjoyment more than the casual reader.

This is a great novel for anyone looking for a highly entertaining, funny, and fast-paced adventure. 

I received an Advanced Review Copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
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Killer Thriller is the second book in the Ian Ludlow Thriller series.  As with the first book, Killer Thriller presents another challenge for novelist Ian Ludlow.  For some reason, his books seem to come true.  And, in frightening and horrifying ways.  This time, as Ian is researching his latest story, a conspiracy is underway to topple the government of the United States.  With his somewhat reluctant assistant, Margo French, Ian is on the run from assassins, while trying to save his country from certain catastrophe.

I enjoyed Killer Thriller, although the relationship between Ian and Margo was more aggravating than entertaining.  Ian is a likable, albeit reluctant, hero and the plot is interesting and, sadly, even somewhat believable.  With a touch of James Bond, plenty of action, humor and an international stage, Killer Thriller is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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